I present to you another find that really made my heart jump: This pair of humble cloth and wax dolls I call “Mother and Child”, both entirely hand-made and wonderful!
Poppet number one is the larger of the two. She measures 9 ¼ inches tall and 1 ½ inches across the shoulders. Her body and head are made out of natural homespun linen stuffed with rags, with applied, rolled appendages. Her rolled arms have been covered in a light coat of beeswax while it appears only the tips of her legs have been dipped. Wax has also been applied to the head and shaped. She has been given facial features, although they are rather primitive. As you can see by the photos, this wax coats the back of her neck as well as part of her back. She is dressed in a finely woven homespun linen gown which is original but, I am assuming, was probably an undergarment.
Poppet number two was the much loved and played with of the two, as evidenced by the "make-do" nature of her appearance: her head has been reattached, as well as her arm and she is missing her other arm. She measures 7 ¼ inches tall, with a 1 ¼ inch shoulder width. Her head is much more crudely carved than “momma” but she has quite an expressive face. Her eyes have been darkened, and her head has an upward tilt that gives her a very sweet & pleasing countenance. You can see that her upper torso still retains much of its wax covering.
Their condition is very good, despite their faults, in that the wax is not brittle or cracking, and the fabric is nice and supple. That they survived, in any condition, is quite amazing.
In my collecting and selling lifetime, I've never found any such constructed. They date to the last quarter 18th C and were originally found on Mt. Desert Island, Maine.
They are truly unique, and quite a rare and wonderful find. They would look especially great in an early home, folk art collection or anywhere you choose to display them.